a monthly look at the faces that have made history


Back in the good old clothing-optional days of ancient Greece, Olympic athletes competed in the buff. It was a dress code that enhanced both the quality of sport—the long jump isn't exactly toga-friendly—and spectatorship. Of course, the custom has since fallen by the wayside. Still, even with their clothes on, Olympians are an awe-inducing sight. From the gymnasts with their compact bodies and dancer's grace to the lean and sinewy long-distance runners to the brawny soccer players, the Games' female competitors stand as reminders that feminine beauty exists beyond the oft-touted 36-24-36 ratio. And with a little help from Playboy, swimmer Amanda Beard has even shown that today's Olympians look just as good naked as the ancient Greeks.

—Evelyn Crowley

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